In the age of computers having good penmanship may seem like a rather unimportant ability. Let’s face it, most of the correspondence and writing we will do, both in school and in the business world, will be typed on computers (or iPads if Mr. Jobs has his way). However, there will always be some instances where people will have to write by hand.
Many of these instances occur during school and the recruiting process toward the end of your academic career. When you are forced to take the old pencil in hand and jot down your name and other information it is very important that you are able to write legibly so that others can read what you have written. Yes, writing your name on an exam so the person grading can read it is important, but it is not the only time good penmanship will be necessary.
During recruiting many potential employers may ask candidates to fill out personal information on hand written documents. Now just think about how important it is that these people who you aspire to work for one day are able to read your information. First off, if they can’t make out your name, or, maybe more importantly, your email address you will never hear back from them in the first place. Second, it reflects poorly on the individual to have unreadable handwriting. Just take a little extra time and effort to make sure that what you write is clear and legible.
Now I realize that many of us have less than perfect handwriting, largely due to a lack of practice. I am also not saying your handwriting has to look like you are writing the Constitution; simply that your handwriting needs to be clear enough that the reader will be able to make out what you write. If this means writing in block capitals then do it. It might not be pretty, but it sure gets the job done.
My advice would be to take a little time to practice your penmanship. After all, school is the time to learn the skills that will put you ahead in the business world. I’m not saying you need to go get one of those kindergarten books with all the lines and little arrows showing you how to write your letters, but just try writing by hand at least a little each week. If you prefer to take notes on your laptop during class start picking one class per week where you take notes by hand. The extra practice will significantly improve your handwriting, and if you like to have the notes on your computer you can always type them up later which will only help you retain the information. Just give it a shot and see what happens, it will help in the long run.